Although I’m not Jewish, I own a menorah. My Italian decent mother grew up in a predominately Jewish neighborhood in NYC. As a young woman living in Forest Hills, NY, my mom learned to embrace and appreciate Jewish customs. That love and admiration trickled down to my sister and me. As a teacher and a parent, I have always understood the importance for my children to embrace and appreciate other cultures, particularly Jewish celebrations such as Hanukkah.
This Wednesday, my children and I will light our menorah and play dreidel on the first night of Hanukkah. We’ll also sing songs to celebrate the Festival of Lights, but these are far from the songs my sister and I sang as kids.
Over the years as I have taught my children some of the Jewish customs, there has been a resurgence of Jewish music, but these traditional Jewish songs have been modernized.
From New Line Records:
“Songs In The Key Of Hanukkah is a record that takes Hanukkah music to a place it’s never been before. It’s a musical voyage that bears repeated listening both for adults and kids who will love to hear the re-workings of the songs they already know as well as the new, original tracks,” says Baron Cohen. “Hanukkah has always been a kid-focused holiday so the challenge was how to transform the music so that it was cool and interesting for adults and yet something that the whole family could enjoy.”
Matisyahu is a reggae artist who combines beatbox with traditional Jewish themes. His music and the message behind it all truly moves me.
To really understand Matisyahu and his music, I highly recommend you watch One Day, which is only available to view on You Tube here.
For the next three weeks, I will be sharing my favorite holiday tunes. It would make me very jolly if you shared your favorite holiday tunes, too.